I saw an article on a blog the other day titled, “If You’re A COVID Denier Who Dies Of COVID, I Don’t Feel Sorry For You.” The article pretty much fits the title, the writer just has no energy left for empathy or compassion for the anti-mask/anti-vax crowd. While many of the 200 comments on this blogs were like “yep, I am over it” … two comments stood out to me:
“I’m an ICU nurse who is vaccinated and I still feel sorry for any needless deaths. Life is fleeting for even those who live to die in their old age of natural causes and I’m not going to let anyone’s ignorance rob me of my own humanity.” This comment was followed quickly by another reply saying, “This. I am a nurse who manages a Covid clinic. I still have empathy. It’s one thing I will not let this pandemic take.”
I thank God for these two ICU nurses, not only for their tireless work but for their clinging onto an important piece of our humanity: empathy and compassion.
Tying to embrace compassion has been a spiritual practice of mine since about midsummer. I wake up every day and remind myself I want to choose compassion. I don’t always get it right, anger slips in quite a bit, but I center myself by saying aloud, “I want to feel compassion and I want to be compassionate to others.” While I think Jesus would be running a vaccination clinic (we know that boy loved to heal folks), I also think based on the Gospels he’d be compassionate, walking alongside people, particularly by their hospital beds.
Everything is messed up right now. Why are people making the choices they make? Why is information confusing and dangerous? Why isn’t the vaccination rate at 100% and masks as common as underwear? I have NO CLUE. I can’t solve the social crisis of the pandemic. But I can keep waking up every day and rejecting the sentiments of the article title above and keep trying on compassion. The pandemic has taken a lot from me and my family. But like the ICU nurse says above, I will not let the pandemic take this from me. I want this part of my humanity, I want to feel empathy and compassion even when it’s really hard.
-Written by Brittany Porch
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